Cameron’s enterprise advisor: UK plc must match US growth rate for start-ups

Lord Young’s report on small business, to be published later this month, names the UK as Europe’s most entrepreneurial nation, but the rate of new businesses being launched in Britain is still significantly behind the United States.

Speaking at the Business Centre Association’s annual conference Lord Young commented that the number of small firms in Britain currently totals 4.5 million, but achieving US growth rates would see the sector swell to 5.4 million firms.

Lord Young commented that adding a further 900,000 start-ups to UK plc could be transformational for the British economy, causing structural employment to disappear. He advocated an increase of expertly run flexible space to incubate young entrepreneurs.

He announced that the Government would be collaborating with the private sector to make 20 public sector buildings available for flexible working, with more redundant Government buildings coming on stream in the future.

The Government will also be launching student grant style start-up loans to encourage 18 – 25 year olds to launch their own businesses.

Lord Young commented: “The way we work is changing rapidly, and office accommodation needs to keep in step with this. These days, entrepreneurs need little more than a phone, a desk and a fast broadband connection to get started.

“I anticipate that many tens of thousands of young people will start up their own business this year. If they are to thrive, it is essential that are accommodated in a supportive business environment. I’m convinced that by providing young companies with the right sort of flexible space, the UK could reach the same levels of entrepreneurial activity as in the USA.”